#Testimony Tuesday -What if……?

Today’s testimony is about a recent experience I had at our last Sunday Service. It was towards the end of the service after the message. We were having a time of praise and worship before taking communion.

I started to feel a heat in my left shoulder and top of my arm. I was sat by the window so at first I thought it must be the sun coming through the window but there was none. The heat in my arm got stronger and stronger and I started to recognise that this was the work of the Holy Spirit. I have felt this heat in my body before when I have been healed or when praying for others for physical healing.

The surprising thing to me though was that I didn’t have a problem with my shoulder. I started wondering if this was the Lord prompting me to pray for someone with a bad shoulder. Then I thought what if I’m wrong. What if I’m wrong…??

What if….Those two little words can be the gateway to doubt or faith. I then thought what if I’m right and I don’t follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I was contemplating the what ifs of the situation and all the time this heat in my shoulder was getting stronger and stronger. I decided to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

As we went forward for communion I went aside and told my Pastor. I left it with him to weigh and test. This is key in discerning and exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a public place. The pastor is the authority in the church and we submit our gifts to His authority as leader as the gifts are for the benefit of the body of Christ. He is responsible for the flock.

After communion our Pastor shared the story from the Old Testament of the time when Moses made a snake at the Lord’s command which was lifted up for everyone to see. Everyone that had been bitten by the snakes looked at the snake and lived. He went on to say that Jesus was lifted up for us, Jesus lives and we are to fix our eyes upon Him and live. God healed then and he still heals today. He then shared what I had told him and encouraged anyone who was experiencing pain or had a problem with their shoulder to respond and we would pray for them for healing after the service.

We had a final song of praise and worship. The what if…raises its head again. What if no-one comes forward for prayer….What if I’m wrong….I decide that I will be ok with that as yet again the stronger thought is but what if someone needs healing and this is the time and way the Lord chooses to heal them. Did I believe that the Lord could heal them..Yes I did.

At the end of the service 3 people came forward for prayer. As we prayed there was such a tangible presence of the Holy Spirit and I believe the Lord will heal them. One lady said she only responded because the word was specifically about pain in a left shoulder. As we prayed the word deep tissue came to me and I asked her if she had a deep tissue problem which she confirmed. We prayed specifically for the Lord to heal in this area.

I praise God and thank the Lord for His healing touch and for the work of the Holy Spirit. I pray that you will be encouraged by this testimony and may God bless you today. All honour, praise and glory belongs to our God. Worthy is the lamb. Amen

Praying in the Spirit

Morning all, today’s prayer post is about praying in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit.

It is biblical to pray in the Spirit and we are encouraged as believers to pray in the Spirit.

 Ephesians 6:18 says “praying always with all prayers and supplications in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”

Jude 7:20 “But you beloved building yourselves up on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Spirit”

What is praying “in the Spirit”?

We pray in the Spirit when:

We allow our prayers to be inspired and directed by the Holy Spirit within us i.e. we are willing to submit our agenda to God and let the Holy Spirit lead us. This is not stepping aside and abdicating responsibility in our prayer lives but being willing to be obedient to how the Holy Spirit wants to lead us and direct our prayers.

It is working together with the Holy Spirit – our spirit and the Holy Spirit in communion in our prayers to God the Father.

We use the gifts of the Holy Spirit in prayer; i.e. speaking or singing in tongues, interpretation of tongues, words of wisdom, knowledge, discernment etc. these giftings of the Holy Spirit help us to pray effectively.

BUT as the Apostle Paul taught us, when we pray in tongues, we should always seek to pray with our understanding too so that we can interpret what the Holy Spirit is directing within us. i.e. we have revelation of the will of God as we pray.

1 Corinthians 14:13 “For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind“.

Speaking in Tongues

Tongues is a spiritual language which is not learned but is inspired by the Holy Spirit within us – it can be a heavenly language or an earthly language previously unknown to the speaker.

Acts 2:4  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them“.

Paul spoke often of the gift of tongues and its proper use. The gift is to be exercised in an orderly way as the Spirit leads. The Holy Spirit does not operate in confusion or in a disorderly way. It is not right or proper if a believer abuses the gift of tongues and causes upset nor is it right or beneficial for believers to set themselves against or forbid this precious gift.

1Corinthians  14:39 “Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way“.

Speaking in Tongues will help you by refreshing you spiritually, inspiring your prayers, worship & praise of God.

1 Corinthians 14:4 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself

Acts 2:11 “we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”

Interpretation of Tongues – When you pray in tongues ask the Holy Spirit to give you the interpretation of what you are praying so you understand what it is you are asking the Lord for or God is revealing about a situation. I don’t receive a literal word for word interpretation but a sense of what the Holy Spirit is saying and directing within me when I pray.

When a public tongue is given it is my experience in exercising the gift of interpretation, that the Holy Spirit gives me the first couple of words or a picture first and overall impression of the interpretation – I then have to step out in faith and allow the Holy Spirit to express through me the interpretation for those present. I can only describe it when I have exercised the gift of interpretation as an “unction” inside which wells up and has to be released.

Why should we pray in the Spirit

The Holy Spirit directs our prayers and reveals the will of God. If we don’t know how to pray about a situation then the Holy Spirit shows us. Some situations seem overwhelming to us but this is where we can have confidence that the Holy Spirit will show us how and what to pray.

Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 “ Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because He makes intercession for the Saints according to the will of God”

SO:

According to this Bible verse-When we pray the Holy Spirit prays with us and makes our prayers effective because our prayers are then according to the will of God. This is why in prayer we should learn to wait on God and be patient to allow the Holy Spirit to direct our prayers. We should not presume immediately that we know how to pray about a specific situation.

Psalm 62:5 “My soul wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him”.

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual wisdom and revelation.

1CO 2:10. “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. v 14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him nor can he know them because they are spiritually discerned

i.e. the Holy Spirit brings revelation to our spirit man/woman within us. We humans are flesh, soul and spirit. Spirit communes with spirit. The Holy Spirit within us reveals things to our spirit man/woman as we pray. Praying in the Spirit.

You may have heard people ask God in prayer to give them “keys” to situations so that breakthrough will come. God reveals the things which are hidden particularly, in the spiritual realm, so that we can then pray directly into the situation using the “keys” which the Holy Spirit reveals through the gifts of knowledge, discernment or wisdom.

How does the Holy Spirit bring revelation to us?

The Holy Spirit can bring revelation to us in dreams, pictures, visions, impressions on your spirit,  scripture verses which are brought to mind, the still small voice of God speaking to us which we hear in our spirit, tongues & interpretations, prophetic words. We have mentioned already the gifts of words of knowledge, wisdom and discernment.

So there are many ways in which the Holy Spirit speaks and many examples are given in scripture of the Holy Spirit working in dreams, visions, prophetic words.

The Holy Spirit also gives power to us and our prayers – particularly in spiritual matters/warfare and when we fast and pray.

Jesus said:  “But you will receive power (dunamis) when the Holy Spirit comes on you” Acts 1:88

We should seek to be continually filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus received the Holy Spirit when he was baptized by John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit came upon Him like a dove.  The Holy Spirit then led Jesus into the wilderness where He fasted and prayed for 40 days then scripture says that Jesus:   “returned in the power of the Spirit and his fame went out abroad” Luke 14:4

We receive and are sealed with the Holy Spirit when we become Christians but I believe we are to seek and receive the full baptism of the Holy Spirit as the early believers did in Acts.

Starting to pray in the Spirit

Acknowledge, welcome and receive the Holy Spirit. 

Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and pour out His Holy Spirit upon you.

The Holy Spirit can be received “by the laying on of hands” Acts 8:17 “and when Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” Acts 19:6.

There are also examples in scripture of the Holy Spirit falling upon people as they waited and sought God.  e.g.  the early church waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the upper room and later in Acts 11:15. Peter witnessed to the following “And as I began to speak the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning”.

Actively seek and pursue the gifts of the Holy Spirit and for the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be released through you for the benefit of others.

 1 Corinthians 14:1 “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy“.

It is important to seek the spiritual gifts for the right reasons. They are given to build up the church.  

God is more interested in you developing your character (follow the way of love) first and foremost and becoming more like Jesus than your spiritual gifts. Don’t fall in the trap of thinking one person is more spiritual because they exercise giftings. We are vessels only of the Holy Spirit. It is the fruit of the Spirit which is key and which shows our maturity in Christ Jesus.

 Test everything:

People often ask how they know it is the Holy Spirit bringing revelation and working in themIf the word or revelation testifies of and brings glory to Christ then it is of God. It must line up with Scripture.

1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God

1Co 14:29 “Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.”

1Th 5:19 “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.”

In my experience praying in the Spirit will always:

 GLORIFY THE FATHER THROUGH THE SON (John 14:13)

BE ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL (John 5 14:15)

BE BASED UPON GOD’S CHARACTER, WAYS & WORD (John 15:7)

Dear friends, don’t let fear or previous experiences hold you back. Please don’t quench the Spirit but allow the Holy Spirit to fill you and lead you as you pray. 

 

 

 

Prayer and The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity – The GodHead. God is revealed as Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

Jesus said “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.  Matt 28:19

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13:14

Fellowship = [Koinonia] which means 7 things: presence, sharing, company enjoyed, co-worker, intimacy, confidentiality, comradeship.

This is the relationship which God wants us to have with the Holy Spirit – It is to our disadvantage when we neglect or take the Holy Spirit for granted particularly in our prayer lives.

1.Who is & what is the role of the Holy Spirit?

In our prayer lives it is important to understand the role of the Holy Spirit and I believe the importance of being baptised in the Holy Spirit and praying in the Spirit.

a)The Holy Spirit is our Helper/Comforter.

John 14:16 “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (Parakletos), that he may abide with you forever; “

The Holy Spirit is the friend who is always at your side to help you particularly in times of intercession and prayer.

b) The Holy Spirit is our Teacher.

John 14:26 ”But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Do you think you have a bad memory? – pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you and remind you of scripture so that you can recall the word of God when needed in prayer.

c)  The Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin.

John 16:8” When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:”

d)  The Holy Spirit guides us into the truth & prophecy

John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

e)  The Holy Spirit glorifies Jesus & brings revelation of Jesus

John 16:14 “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.”

John 15:26 “When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me”.

Ephesians 1:17 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

f) The Holy Spirit helps us to overcome temptation

Galatians 5:16 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want”.

g) The Holy Spirit produces fruit in us to be more like Jesus

Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control”

h) The Holy Spirit blesses us with the gifts of the Spirit

A spiritual gift is a special attribute/ability given by the Holy Spirit to every Christian according to God’s grace. The scriptures tell us the various spiritual gifts which God has for the believers in Christ. 1 Corinthians Ch 12, Ephesians Ch 4, Romans Ch 12.

The gifts include: prophecy, service to others, teaching, encouragement, giving, leadership, mercy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, discernment, tongues, interpretation of tongues, apostle, evangelist, pastor

The gifts are for every believer in Christ. The scriptures tell us that every Christian has received at least one gift and can have more than one gift.   The gifts are given “to each one individually as He wills” So, if you are a Christian – be confident – the word says you have a spiritual gift so believe that you have one and find it. 1 Peter Ch 4 v 10. It is God’s intention that every Christian should find and exercise their gift. They are not earned, or rewards, you don’t have to be a Christian for so many years etc. before you get one – They are given by God’s grace to those who desire them with a pure heart.

1 Corinthians Ch 12 v 7 says “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” The gifts are given to edify others. They are for the glory of God and given so that as Christians we can mature and grow closer in our walk with God.   They should not be confused with natural talents and abilities. They are not given to us so that we can get proud or puffed up – to gloat or to be jealous of anyone’s gift. We must exercise the gifts with pure motives and with love. Paul clearly says this in 1 Corinthians Ch 13 when he talks of love.   The gifts are functional – They are there to equip God’s church.

It is such a help and a blessing to use the spiritual gifts in our private prayer time and when we pray for others – to give words of knowledge, encouragement & prophecy.

I find it helpful to use these scriptural truths about the Holy Spirit and his role to help me in times of prayer: e.g. If am praying for someone who is not saved then I can ask the Holy Spirit to bring conviction of sin, the need for salvation because of judgement and revelation of Jesus as being the only way to be reconciled to God.

If  I am,  or someone I know is struggling with temptation,  then I can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to draw alongside them to help them overcome temptation and for the fruit of self control to be produced in their lives.

If someone is grieving or in pain then for the Holy Spirit to draw alongside them to bring comfort at such times.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and leads us into all truth.  In times such as these when we can be led into error or deceived by false teachings, may we ask that the Holy Spirit leads us into truth and not error and keeps our feet on the right path.Prayer – Is God hearing my prayers?